Region Two officials to participate in drug demand reduction workshop

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Several government officials from the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) Region Two Pomeroon-Supenaam are to participate in a five-day workshop that will equip them with counselling and intervention methods on drug prevention and drug use.

Psychologist and Human Resources specialist, Ren Gonzales.

The Drug Demand Reduction workshop is being undertaken by the Ministry of Public Health and facilitated by Ren Gonzales, Psychologist and Human Resources specialist from Eureka Labs.

According to Gonzales, “most drug helpers may or may not necessarily be psychologists or professionals, but through this training, we would like to equip them with the basic knowledge and skills so that they will be able to facilitate change in persons who are doing drugs.”

He noted that the workshop will also offer ‘motivational interviewing’ for persons who might resist change. It will also focus on relapse prevention. This initiative is in keeping with the government’s commitment to reduce the use of illicit drugs.

The National Drug Strategy Master Plan 2016-2020, is aimed at having a more targetted approach to fighting the drug problem in Guyana via aggressive efforts to reduce the use and abuse of both licit and illicit drugs in communities and to dismantle networks in the business of facilitating the trade locally.

According to the country’s National Drug Strategy Master Plan 2016 – 2020 statistics, “1.4 percent of the students have used cocaine at least once in their lifetime [and] 1.9 percent used crack at least once in their lifetime.”

According to the study, the “lifetime prevalence rate for solvent and inhalants was 10.8 percent while it was 3.2 percent for tranquilisers, 2.9 per cent for stimulants, 1.6 percent for ecstasy, 1.0 percent for heroin, 0.7 per cent each for morphine, cocoa paste and hallucinogens, and 0.6 percent for both opium and hashish.”

Gonzales stressed that the ministry’s training has gained good responses from the participants and hopes that they will utilise the newly acquired skills to assist those within the region, particularly young people.

By: Neola Damon.